Generacion Suicida’s South LA punk roar

Generacion Suicida

Generacion Suicida. View more photos on Flickr | Generacion Suicida

The name “Genraction Suicida” – “suicide generation” – could be seen as a way for Kiwi Martinez and Tony Abarca to thumb their noses at the people who said they would never become successful. Martinez, the drummer, and Abarca, the guitarist and vocalist, both dealt with their share of struggles and discouragement growing up in South L.A.

Martinez came to the United States from Guatemala when she was 12 months old and ended up attending John C. Fremont High School in South L.A. There, she was failing classes and felt like teachers didn’t care about their students’ education or future.

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The band in Paris. | Generacion Suicida Facebook

My mom was like, ‘you need to get out of there,’” Martinez said. “I don’t remember having any teacher or counselor telling me that I can do something with my life.”

Abarca had been playing guitar since age 14 — mostly jamming with friends while drinking in abandoned houses in his neighborhood. One day, something changed.

“Instead of just getting drunk, it was more important for us to play music,” Abarca said. For Abarca, who also felt frustrated at his own high school, music became a way to desahogarse – blow off steam.

In 2012, deciding to dedicate his career to music, Abarca founded Generacion Suicida and called on Martinez to join.

Hear the fast drumbeats, roars and reflections of Generacion Suicida:

Martinez, a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, said her story helps to break stereotypes of minorities from South L.A.

She and Abarca encourage young people who feel trapped in hopeless situations — as they once did — to turn to creative outlets like music instead of gangs, drugs or alcohol.

Now that Generacion Suicida has gained a following, Martinez and Abarca are taking their message and their music throughout South L.A. and beyond, even to Spain and Sweden. (Click to view map of upcoming tour dates.) Earlier this year, the LA Weekly called the band “one of the city’s best-kept secrets.”

Not so suicidal after all.

Upcoming tour locations:

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